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FFA National Dairy Cattle Judging Contest
Kentucky team wins 4th national title

From left to right, team members Drew Krueger, Shelby West, Caleb Fulkerson and Tyler Goodlett.

TAYLORSVILLE, Ky. -- The Spencer County FFA’s dairy cattle judging team has won their fourth national championship.

Bland Baird, the FFA advisor at Spencer County High School, documented the excitement:

“I wish you could have seen the looks on my students' faces when their names were called,” he wrote.

“There were hundreds of people in the banquet hall from around the country, all waiting to hear the announcement.

“As I sat with these four Spencer County FFA igh school students I was coaching, I recalled that the pathway that brought them to the 2013 National FFA Dairy Cattle Judging Contest had been an exciting journey for them and for me. These young people were selected for the dairy judging team after dairy judging was taught in class. They trained throughout the spring and summer and anttended a number of dairy judging contests and field-days. Then in August, they won the state dairy judging contest! And after that, they intensified their preparation for the national contest.

“The announcer's voice loomed loud on the public address system as the assembled crowd waited to hear who would take top honors. And finally, the word came. "The first-place winners of the 2013 National FFA Dairy Cattle Judging Contest are ... the four students from Spencer County, Kentucky!"

“For the fourth time in the 83-year history of the National FFA, Kentucky had won the National FFA dairy contest.

“My students simply couldn't believe it when each one's name was then read! "Members of the winning team are: Tyler Goodlett, Caleb Fulkerson, Shelby West and Drew Krueger. Further, it was noted that of the 172 individual students competing, my students had placed lst, 2nd, 6th, and 19th individually in the contest, beating-out dairy states like California and Wisconsin.

“Now these students have the opportunity to go one step further. lf funding can be raised, they will represent the National FFA Organization in the International Dairy Judging Contest in Edinburgh, Scotland, this summer. They will also participate in a study tour and learn about agriculture and the culture of Scotland, England, and Ireland. To make this possible, $25,000 will need to be raised.

None of these students are from wealthy families, and all show great promise. It has been a pleasure for me to coach them and observe how this whole experience has helped them begin realizing what they are truly capable of accomplishing in life. With high ACT college entrance test scores and a strong work ethic, these students are thinking about college and careers in animal science, agriculture education, law and other fields.

Anyone wishing to make a tax deductible contribution to the team, please contact bland.baird@spencer.kyschools.us